Inventions in Early Modern Europe

Images from Stradanus’s "Nova reperta," a series of engravings representing technological innovations of the modern age from the perspective of a practicing artist

Theodore Galle, after Stradanus (Jan van der Straet), <i>Discovery of America,</i> from <i>Nova reperta</i> (New inventions and discoveries of modern times), c. 1599–1603. Engraving
Hans Collaert the Younger, after Stradanus (Jan van der Straet), <i>Invention of the Compass,</i> from <i>Nova reperta</i> (New inventions and discoveries of modern times), c. 1599–1603. Engraving.
Unknown engraver, after Stradanus (Jan van der Straet), <i>Invention of Book Printing,</i> from <i>Nova reperta</i> (New inventions and discoveries of modern times), c. 1599–1603. Engraving.
Unknown engraver, after Stradanus (Jan van der Straet), <i>Invention of Clockwork,</i> from <i>Nova reperta</i> (New inventions and discoveries of modern times), c. 1599–1603. Engraving.
Unknown engraver, after Stradanus (Jan van der Straet), <i>Discovery of Guaiacum as a Cure for Venereal Infection,</i> from <i>Nova reperta</i> (New inventions and discoveries of modern times), c. 1599–1603. Engraving
Unknown engraver, after Stradanus (Jan van der Straet), <i>Invention of Distillation,</i> from <i>Nova reperta</i> (New inventions and discoveries of modern times), c. 1599–1603. Engraving.
Hans Collaert the Younger, after Stradanus (Jan van der Straet), <i>Invention of Eyeglasses,</i> from <i>Nova reperta</i> (New inventions and discoveries of modern times), c. 1599–1603. Engraving.
Hans Collaert the Younger, after Stradanus (Jan van der Straet), <i>Discovery of the Establishment of the Longitudes,</i> from <i>Nova reperta</i> (New inventions and discoveries of modern times), c. 1599–1603. Engraving.
Hans Collaert the Younger, after Stradanus (Jan van der Straet), <i>Amerigo Vespucci Discovering the Southern Cross with an Astrolabe,</i> from <i>Nova reperta</i> (New inventions and discoveries of modern times), c. 1599–1603. Engraving.

Scroll through images from Stradanus’s Nova reperta, a series of engravings representing geographical, navigational, and astronomical discoveries as well as mechanical and manufacturing innovations from milling and metallurgical techniques to oil painting and printing. For most inventions, the Nova reperta offered a compressed view of each step in the production process within a unified and densely populated pictorial space, according to Susan Dackerman’s catalog for Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe. Learn more about this Harvard Art Museums exhibit in Jennifer Carling and Jonathan Shaw’s article “Spheres of Knowledge,” from the November-December 2011 issue. 

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